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Syria regime forces enter IS-held Mayadeen: monitor

© AFP | A Syrian soldier inspects an area recently recaptured from the Islamic State (IS) group in Khanasser

BEIRUT (AFP) - 

Russian-backed Syrian regime forces on Friday broke into the eastern town of Mayadeen, one of the Islamic State group's last bastions in the country, a monitor said.

"With support from Russian aviation, regime forces entered Mayadeen and took control of several buildings in the west of the town," Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP.

IS jihadists have controlled Mayadeen in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor since 2014.

President Bashar al-Assad's forces have been advancing rapidly in a bid to expel the jihadists from the province.

Mayadeen sits on the western bank of the Euphrates River, between provincial capital Deir Ezzor, where the jihadists still hold several districts, and the border with Iraq.

IS remains in control of half of Deir Ezzor province, despite regime advances and a separate offensive against the jihadists by a US-backed Kurdish-Arab alliance.

© 2017 AFP